"Nightmare In Wax" is a weird, brutal, slow, but still fairly likable movie on a couple of different levels. The music is cool, it stars another Dungeon great, Cameron Mitchell, and has a killer title card!!!
The serious non-rocker music for the film was composed by Igo Kantor. Igo only composed the music for 10 movies, but he worked as music editor on a lot more. Probably his coolest credit would be as music coordinator on 53 episodes of "The Monkees" TV show!
"Nightmare In Wax" is like an early California Giallo film, and just maybe they thought they could recapture the work Cameron did in "Blood and Black Lace," but without Mario Bava and his team at the helm, it's a completely different game!
This movie is like one long public service announcement all about the dangers of smoking!!
And especially the hazards of talking shit and smoking are explored, and what happens when fire and alcohol are mixed with no respect for human safety!
"Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette........"
"Puff, puff, puff, and if you smoke yourself to death...
"Tell Saint Peter at the golden gate that you hates to make him wait, but you just gotta have another cigarette!!" - Merle Travis
Dumb Hollywood detectives couldn't even figure out who was knocking at their door on Halloween!!
Basically, "Nightmare In Wax" is a sick flick about a sick fuck, and a guy who really knows how to hold a grudge! Unbelievably, Cameron Mitchell had already been acting for 24 years by the time this film came out! He had been a stage actor that interrupted his career to become an air force bombardier in World War II. Not that it should have been unexpected, Cameron died in 1994 from lung cancer at the age of 75 after being in some 233 titles!
Much of "Nightmare In Wax" was filmed at the "Movieland Wax Museum" not too far from Disneyland if I remember correctly...
...because Yes, I was there a few years before they even had colour!! I don't know who the kid with me is!!
Cameron is the mad waxkeeper Vincent Renard, and his trick is that he injects people he doesn't like with some crap that keeps them alive, but motionless! It makes for some very lifelike dummies! They are also very zombielike, and can be manipulated by Vinnie when he wants to!
Time to meet up with Cam down at Gazzarri's, one of the hippest clubs on the strip! Gazzarri's, where the house band in the 60's was The Doors, and in the 80's it was Van Halen, but tonight it's those "No Matter What Shape Your Stomach's In" kinda guys, The T-Bones, joined here by The Gazzarri Dancers in their solo film outing!
More influential than Buck Owens or Merle Haggard, the best thing to ever come out of Bakersfield, Calif. was the Mosrite guitar! If you want that just right sound, you'll never go wrong with a Mosrite! The list is huge, The Ventures, Little Jimmy Dickens, Kurt Cobain, The Strawberry Alarm Clock, The Cars, Tom Petty, The Pyramids, Spinal Tap, Duane Eddy, Don Rich, Johnny Ramone, Elvis, and even Jimi are just a few of the musicians, along with 100's of other country and surf bands, who have played Mosrites over the years!
The chicks really dig The T-Bones, and you can tell from this little soundclip that they were making a pretty good transition from an instrumental hit group to a vocal pop band!
In the 70's, most of the T-Bones guys were that band with the hard to dismember name, Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds that scored pretty big top 40 soft rock hits with "Don't Pull Your Love," and "Fallin' In Love!"
Victoria Carroll doesn't seem to have a lick of rhythm in her whole body, but I'm not sure it's not all an act, because this is one talented gal!
Victoria has had a wonderful acting career, and has also done a ton of cartoon voiceovers with stuff like "The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby Doo," and "Yogi And The Invasion Of The Space Bears" etc, etc, ad nauseum, and her husband Michael Bell did a buttload of voices for cartoons like "G.I. Joe," and "Transformers!" Boy, I'd like to hear some of the conversation at that dinner table!!!
Victoria has quite a diverse range and look, and takes her Go-Go girl character from bimbo to dead in a short amount of time! This whole scene where Vinnie is driving around with her dead body is pretty damn creepy!!
The cops ain't gettin' any smarter!!!
Unfortunately, "Nightmare In Wax" is really stupid lookin' and slow the other half of the time, but then that's why God created fast forward!!
The end of the movie poses the age old question, how can a person go insane when they are already freakin' crazy out of their skull anyway??
I don't know what good it will do, but I'm going to send a few bucks to the Red Cross! You might want to think about it too!